The Great Trade — Author’s Reflection

You’ve probably not noticed that “The Great Trade” is a nearly exact excerpt from my much longer poem, “The Greatest of Sermons.

If you have noticed, a) I thank you for following my work so closely, and b) I commend you for reading through my longest of poems.

Why take an excerpt from one poem, change it only ever so slightly, and call it another? Because I believe that 1) most folks won’t read “The Greatest of Sermons” in its entirety, but 2) the message in its refrain has such importance that it deserves its own space.

The message of “The Great Trade” parallels the primary message of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount; that being a true follower of Christ is not about our unwavering obedience to God’s commands. Its about unwavering commitment to the One who obeyed God’s commands for us and took on the punishment we deserved for disobedience.

I’m reminded of the scene from the movie The Matrix. The little boy tells Neo, “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends. It is only yourself.”

Rephrased within the context of being a true follower of Christ, the boy might say, “Do not try to live sinlessly. That’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. Then you’ll see that it is not you that earns your salvation, it is Christ who earns it on your behalf.

I hope you enjoy,

The Great Trade

But Jesus, what you’ve told us, it can’t be done.
No, no one is righteous, not even one.
What can we do to earn your reward?
What you require, its just too hard.
Who can fulfill your every command?
It can’t be accomplished by a mere mortal man!

Jesus replied: “you can’t. But I can.
I’ll open the door to the promised land.
I’ll live the life you cannot live.
I’ll give the death you cannot give.
I’ll conquer death. I’ll conquer sin.
So take my hand; I’ll let you in.”

© Dr. Phil Bryant


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